#WFH Diaries: Anna Sullivan of The Creative Exchange

As confinement continues in most parts of the world, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Anna Sullivan, founder of The Creative Exchange.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

The Creative Exchange founder, based in Brooklyn.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

I am in Williamsburg in Brooklyn (with a large outbreak of Covid-19). Luckily, living in NYC you end up with roommates. I am here with my roommate/best friend who is a creative director for an experiential agency, and also my cat Coco. It's really nice having someone here and not living alone.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

I wasn't sure what to expect with the pandemic and how it would affect my business, but things have gotten super busy. We have been on our toes changing content that was planned, creating corona-specific content and messaging, and working on a lot of new projects for clients, as their priorities have also shifted. I like the pace and the excitement of quick turn-around and being forced to think about new ideas. I have also spent more time working on marketing for the business during this time. So each day is a long one, but I love the change of pace.

Describe your socializing strategy.

Ha—this one is interesting. Connecting with my team each day and being quarantined with my roommate is enough social activity for me. I do have friends and we get together via Zoom a couple times a week, and I honestly feel like I have been texting friends more often. Since I keep so busy with work anyways, I don't have too much free time for that and I haven't broken down into downloading Houseparty just yet.

What are you reading?

As of a few days ago, I wanted to clean up my inbox. That means a lot of unsubscribing. I have been opening every email each day to unsubscribe, which also has led me to see all the great articles in some emails that I previously paid no attention to. Most of that content looks like Covid-19 marketing, social strategies, influencer strategies - all social marketing related, really. Otherwise, when I make the time I have been meaning to read Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

What are you watching?

I have already binged some of the new shows on Netflix like Unorthodox, but currently I am rewatching Community. It's something easy to have in the background. I love being able to listen in at any moment and get a laugh. Otherwise, I have really been enjoying all the IG Lives that brands have been doing.

What are you listening to?

I am a sucker for this podcast called The Basement Yard—just nonsense and hilarious to me. I have honestly been off my podcast game the last few months but started listening to Gary Vee again. During work, when I can't concentrate enough to listen to a podcast, I am playing Frank Ocean, Childish Gambino and Alicia Keys.

How are you staying fit?

That has been hard! It's been quite the transition not being able to go to my workout classes each week. As of the last 2 weeks, I have been FaceTiming with my sister each day for a 15-30 minute workout together. We find a Youtube video and a time that works best for both of us. I don't feel it's enough working out, but it's been manageable for now. I have also been attempting to eat healthier, but that has also been a little hard. I have been ordering Daily Harvest and have loved that so far - it makes morning super-easy. It's all a work in progress for sure.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Not yet! I haven't really been able to balance work vs. not working while at home. I am working from the time I get up until I go to bed, other than the occasional show, working out, and eating. I did however order a Stick and Poke tattoo kit. This may be some trouble but I am excited about it!

Any tips for getting necessities?

I have been enjoying ordering from different online grocery stores like Bubble, Hungryroot, etc. Otherwise I have ordered groceries a few times and if necessary have been braving it to the grocery store.

Best work email you got since all this started.

Today, this ended up in my inbox.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Nothing large stands out to me—more so, small things. Like readjusting services to fit what was needed, thinking about new ways to create content since my team and I cannot get together for photoshoots. I have randomly been coming up with great new ideas for marketing the agency. Like I mentioned earlier, I think the quarantine has pushed my creativity in a new way, and I do like where it's going.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

To me, there is no way we are getting out of quarantine prior to mid-June. I think once we are out things are definitely going to be different with how we approach going to work, and working from home may be a more regular thing. I also think that brands will continue to use Zoom and IG Live more than they were previously to connect with their audiences. Other than that, I know a lot of businesses took a huge financial hit, so in general I believe businesses will be more nimble and do business a little more creatively.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards, editor of Muse by Clio, and host of the podcast Tagline. He is the former creative editor of Adweek.

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